Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Previous Section   307. In Favour of Criticism   Next Section

In Favour of Criticism.  Something now appears to you as an error which you used to love as a truth, or as a probability. You cast this opinion aside and imagine that your reason has thereby gained a victory. But perhaps that error was as necessary for you then - for the old "you" (you are always another person) - as all your current "truths" : that "error" being a skin as it were which concealed and veiled from you much that you were not yet permitted to see.  Your new life and not your reason has killed that opinion for you: you do not need it any longer, and now it breaks down of its own accord and the irrationality crawls out of it as a worm into the light.  When we criticize something it is not something arbitrary and impersonal, it is, at least very often, a proof that there are lively, active forces in us which are growing and need to shed a skin.  We deny, and must deny, because something in us wants to live and affirm itself, something which we perhaps do not as yet know or do not as yet see!  There is so much in favour of criticism.  
 

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